Positions I Hold for Clarification

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by thomaskolter, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. thomaskolter

    thomaskolter New Member

    I at a philosophical level believe in the free advancement of learning and many ways to demonstrate that. That means if you get a life experience degree from a school and they deem after review you should get a bachelors its as legitimate as going to a four year college and taking classes getting it that way. Assuming the first is done with some level of analysis and a demonstration of experience. Example I would point to is a person well written as a author why not give them a BA in Creative Writing for published works? The only difference is in the prestige of the institution that is beyond accreditation but in public opinion.

    Now do I oppose accreditation? If its from any independent source then no I do not. If a public entity does so it should only apply to institutions that they use to hire persons for employment. A state can deny a degree from Unaccredited School AlphaBeta be used for employment but they have no moral right to say anything about that for the private sector. None. A doctor is licensed by the state and they have a right to have a say what schools count or not for training, if its a person in the business realm they have no say. To do anything else violates the first amendment rights to free speech and the right to privacy. Who issued a degree is between the party using the credential and their employer. And if it was in use for personal interest and they want to use the title Doctor in the realm of the private then they have no right to say its not a valid title. But accreditation agencies should be any agency that wishes to do so and let the private sector decide on which ones to give more weight and value. Its not the governments job to protect adults from making bad choices or in determining the seeking of academic credentials after their legal obligation is over- that is up to High School.

    Do I look at unaccredited schools as equal to accredited schools? Well how am I to judge them? If a person earned a doctorate from a thesis only from an unaccredited school its no different than the same degree from an accredited school or one legal to do so like in England. I for one would see both as equal and let the community of peers decide which is not. Not the government! I point to thousands of years of tradition in learning where a scholar wrote, studied, worked with peers and spent time learning then growing in their stature. Where were degrees handed out in ancient Rome, Athens during the classical age, in the Library of Alexandria by the royalty of Egypt? Where did Plato earn his degree or Sappho or Socrates or Claudius (the emperor of Rome well known as an historian). I oppose boxing and labeling learning at all but if its to be leave it open to all comers and let the market unfettered decide. Why can't a doctor apprentice for 14 years after high school and earning the place as a doctor? Why does it matter how you get from point A to part B as long as the knowledge is there? I say let a person study and earn a degree by any means and again let the free market decide the relative values. If a government at the state level wants to lock in "traditional" schools for medical training then it should e state to state or perhaps Federal. Licensed professions have a different standard.

    Lets say someone just BUYS a degree- so what! If they are not proven qualified then the market will deal with them. In some cases it might not matter in others it may matter. Can't an employer make value judgements for themselves? Are we to be the parent to everyone just because they are too lazy to do their jobs- including businesses? It matters only to me that licensed professions being under government control can set limits beyond that they should stay out of the matter.

    To end I have no problems with anyone here. I just take the true position one should learn, get a degree if they want and apply that degree as a credential. Regardless of how they earned that degree. The only matter is a third party does it- unaccredited school, accredited school, academic society or some other means. If twenty people form an academic group to offer a BA in Liberal Arts for doing twenty term papers then so be it. If a person goes to a school and gets a life experience degree fine so be it. If a person goes to Harvard earning a Law Degree then fine so be it.

    Is that clear enough then, I don't get the problems I believe in learning and academic achievement just not having it dominated by a few Ivory Towers?

    There was a fine movie JUDE about a stonemason that taught himslef Latin and studied academics and wanted so much to go to the University. Writing a letter he was refused and it broke him. A fine mind not given the recognition of that because of the Ivory Tower that kept out the "unworthy" and looked down on "tradesmen". Its that arrogance I'm opposed to and the wapon I would use is those avenues they challenge why are the academics afraid of the unaccredited schools- let them meet these schools in the free market and let the sword fall. The government is the weapon of the academic Ivory Tower maybe not by directly accrediting the schools but keeping in a system assured to crush free thought and innovation. And any school that dares to tell them to go to hell.

    If it was in my power ladies and gentleman I'd drive a stake into the system and leave it all to the free market if over the COnstitutional obligations of the states. That is limited to up to High School and public schools- for the others again its not the governments job to protect adults from themselves when they are not harmed. It does no harm if a person spends money on a degree and it turns out a low value degree they are just out money. People lose and waste money on foolish things all the time yet the government doesn't protect them from all their mistakes do they? If they did every Fast Food restaurant would be under governerment limits on selling their fat laden food. Cigarettes would be illegal after all an adult can't read the label or figure smoke in your lungs is bad? Prohibition of alcohol would be back.

    So I will fight for my position its my right as a free citizen of the United States and protected under the First Amendment and if that offends you that is my right to. I don't think the forum rules do negate supporting the position I hold even if its unpopular I'm for education of any avenue. Distance learning included I just think labeling one way good and another bad just because one school is accredited and another not accredited is by its nature in direct opposition to the Great Tradition of Learning.
  2. RobbCD

    RobbCD New Member

    What a long winded bunch of crap. First of all, accreditors are private, not government, agencies. Second, they exist for the protection of the consumer and are a perfectly reasonable measure considering the invenstment that individuals make in their educaiton.

    You've made it perfectly clear on other threads that you intend to start an unaccredited school. This leads me to think that you will embrace any deluded perspective that supports a school founded by a person who lacks even a bachelors degree. You are trying to sell everyone else on an idea that you've sold to yourself.

    Well, I'm not buying.
  3. RobbCD

    RobbCD New Member

    This was originally posted by CalDog on another thread:

  4. Jigamafloo

    Jigamafloo New Member

    Since there isn't a "Self Serving Marketing" forum, you should have at least posted this in the "Accredited vs. State Approved vs Unaccredited" forum".

    Most HR departments (i.e. the free market) did that a LONG time ago, and the vast majority insist on Regional/National accreditation. I'd call that relative value.

  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    1. The difference between "life experience degrees" and degrees by examination and assessment is that "life experience degrees" do not verify the life experience claimed while degrees by examination and assessment do verify the prior learning claimed.

    2. Accreditation is by independent agencies. The government, through the Department of Education, merely recognizes the accreditation agencies. BTW - The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, a private agency, also recognizes accreditation agencies.

    3. Given your line of argumentation, the question occurs to me: why should the government have any right to regulate who calls themselves a doctor? Shouldn't every chump have the right to go to any doctor they want and let survival of the fittest prevail?
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I agree. Anyone who wants to talk about the market and complain about government meddling simply doesn't understand how the system works -- or is trying to mislead others for self-serving purposes.

    And really, anyone who wants to start a new school really ought to start from a position of academic credibility. I don't think it takes a PhD, but someone who doesn't at least have a Bachelor's degree will have real trouble being taken seriously.

  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Even by degreeinfo standards, that's a strange rant. It's probably futile, but I will make two simple observations:

    (1) In the US, accreditation is voluntary. Many unaccredited schools have been enrolling students for decades with explicit government approval -- well-known examples include Century University (licensed in NM), California Pacific (licensed in CA), or Kennedy-Western (licensed in WY). Even Oregon (with the strictest degree law enforcement in the US) has a list of approved unaccredited schools. There's been plenty of government-sanctioned opportunity for unaccredited schools to climb up out of the academic cellar.

    (2) If unaccredited schools have remained at the bottom, it's only because that's exactly where the free market thinks they belong. Question: why is it that (accredited) MIT can charge $100,400 tuition for its Business Administration program, while (unaccredited) Stratford Career Institute can only charge $689 (discounted from $889) for its Business Management program ? Answer: Both schools are charging what the free market will bear. And the free market has decided that the letters "MIT" are far more valuable on resumes than the letters "SCI". Is the free market wrong?
  8. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    Very interesting point about MIT. I don't think MIT commands the respect it has through Accreditation alone. I think its base on track record and reputation. Many well accredited schools simply cannot charge the same fees as MIT.

    Back to the main point at the beginning of this thread. The concept of life experience has become a bad word because its misused by known diploma mills. The term experiential Learning sounds better for real discussion.

    While I support the use of experiential learning, I do believe that proper assessment schemes need to be in place.

    I think the key would be Process and people. People meaning the faculty has to be respected for unaccredited school to get some traction. For example if a well known MIT professor starts a new school, even RobbCD will run there.
  9. RobbCD

    RobbCD New Member

    A degree mill run by a former MIT professor is still a degree mill.

    Morleyl, you saucy flirt, are you begging for my attention?
  10. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    But why are you so sure it would be a diploma mill. Is Olin College a diploma mill?

    I am saying unaccredited but well respected process to grant any document.
  11. RobbCD

    RobbCD New Member

    Probably not, considering this quote from their website:


    Olin has planned for full accreditation from NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges, our regional accrediting association) and ABET (Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology) since its inception. Our current efforts are aimed at preparing the college for the full accreditation reviews that will take place after we have graduated our first class in 2006. This section includes information on the preliminary steps we are taking to prepare the college for these two accreditation reviews.


    So, they're new . I guess we'll have to wait and see what the accreditors have to say.;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2006
  12. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    All I am saying from day one, there is a big difference between the Suspect and the Guilty.

    Regardless of their intention they are unaccredited. Therefore, when you blankly say all unaccredited are diploma mills then you are including them.

    Notice on their website, they claim to have a different approach in their programmes.
  13. RobbCD

    RobbCD New Member

    You are grasping at straws. I clearly conceded to Steve Foerster on another thread when he pointed out that being a new school is the only legit reason for a school to be unaccredited. You can bet that Olin College won't remain unaccredited.

    You are trying to use a brand new, B&M school that intends regional and professional accreditation to justify the unaccredited status of degree mills like Rushmore, Almeda and Kennedy-Western.
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    But why are you so sure it would be a diploma mill. Is Olin College a diploma mill?

    No, but then Olin is in a consortium with nearby regionally accredited schools and applied for accreditation as soon as eligible.

    I am saying unaccredited but well respected process to grant any document.

    "Unaccredited" and "well respected" almost never belong in the same description. Rockefeller University in New York and that test pilot school in California are just about the only exceptions I can think of at this point, maybe NWCU and Oak Brook as well. That's it.

  15. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Rockefeller University is commonly cited as an "unaccredited" school, but it is in fact accredited: it just has national accreditation instead of regional accreditation. The confusion results from the unique dual role played by New York State agencies.

    Colleges and universities in New York get "approval" from the State in order to operate. This is comparable to the situation in other states. Most NY schools get "accredited" separately. So a NY school like Cornell is "approved" by the State of New York, but "accredited" separately by a Regional Accreditation agency.

    However, the New York State Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education -- unlike any other state agency in the US -- can also act as an "accreditor": they are a USDoE-recognized National Accreditation agency. Use of New York State accreditation services is optional, and only about 20 NY schools have chosen to go this route. But those that do -- including Rockefeller -- are accepted as nationally accredited, as a check of the USDoE database will show. So Rockefeller is "approved" by the State of New York; it is "accredited" separately by the State of New York, in its other capacity as a National Accreditation Agency.

    In summary, NY State "accreditation" is an optional service, separate from NY State "approval". NY State "accreditation" is uncommon, but it still counts as a valid form of NA. That's why Rockefeller is in the USDoE database, whereas a "state-approved" but totally unaccredited school like Kennedy-Western is not.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2006
  16. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    Well, from all the discussions I have seen on the topic of unaccredited versus accredited. Here is whats the best approach from my point of view.

    There should be a universal law for all states in the formation of any degree granting institution within the US. Therefore, anyone that pass that process, degrees issued would be legal in all states.

    On top of that you could then have accreditation to deal with more quality and financial requirements for the USDOE. Endorsement from a professional body or large companies could help to show quality marks.

    The best process I could think of is one similar to Royal Chartered formation. It requires that officers be qualified, state the awards and standards use to grant the awards etc.

    In this case, it would be difficult for a school to claim that money is an issue to get the first step.

    In respect to life experience credits..

    I think a person would good provable background can gain some degree level qualification after doing some work to prove their competence. This would have to involve some form of exam or thesis plus interviews etc.

    It all depends on what a person needs. If its a change in career then a full course preferably at a B&M school. I personally think DL is more complimentary to existing knowledge.
  17. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Hold it right there. This is grossly unrealistic; it suggests that morleyl is completely unfamiliar with the US system of government.

    The US Constitution does not give the Federal government any authority over matters of education. That's why such powers are held by the individual States. In theory, the Federal government could gain such powers by constitutional amendment, but such amendments require state approval. It is, of course, unlikely that state governments would approve a constitutional amendment that would take away their powers.

    Like it or not, no US state is obliged to accept any credential of any kind issued by any other state. That's why there is no automatic reciprocity for engineering licenses, or for fishing licenses, or for college degrees. States can even reject each other's driver's licenses under certain circumstances. If the 50 states can't even agree on the minimum driving age, then how do you expect to enforce a uniform standard for colleges?

    So a "universal law" is completely impractical. Furthermore, it's completely unnecessary. There is already an effective system in the US that guarantees universal acceptance of college degrees across state lines, and which doesn't involve heavy-handed government laws.

    It's called "accreditation".
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2006
  18. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Thanks, I stand corrected.

    Given that the two law schools I mentioned might apply for DETC if the regulatory environment changes in California for law schools, that would leave only the National Test Pilot School, and let's face it, that only because of its highly specialized nature.

  19. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    I am familiar with the US system of education and I understand all your points. But you could always have a universal understanding for the basics. This is not full accreditation or changing any additional work that a state would do.. Its more a question of legality. Your license still allow you drive in any state regardless of requirements. To do other things then you could go into accreditation issues..

    I am not discussing this in order to get a degree as I have said many times. Just exploring ideas based on my own views.
  20. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    This is total nonsense. It has been proven in court numoerous times that the government has the legal right to protect their citizens and business entities from academic fraud. In my opinion, government has the moral obligation to protect the citizens and business entities against fraud.

Share This Page